Mentoring

Mentoring provides a forum for the exchange of ideas, best practice and open discussion.

In its simplest form it provides a learning relationship where two people listen, share and challenge each other.

Mentoring can be appropriate at any stage in your career. Although traditionally thought of as an experienced colleague acting as a mentor to a young mentee, it can also be useful at later stages in your career – especially if you have moved to a new sector or take on additional tasks.

membership

Mentor Me service

Our mentoring matching service is available for members and students. In addition to the matching service and the mentoring website also provides resources, tools, advice and guidance to help you get the most from the experience. You will need to log in with your user name and password to access this service.


What’s in it for a mentee?

  • Increases your focus in establishing and achieving your goals
  • Provides an opportunity to reflect on your experience with a colleague
  • Develops and improves your professional network
  • Develops your communication skills
  • Provides individual encouragement and support

Why become a mentor?

  • Gives you the satisfaction of helping a colleague to reach their goals
  • Broadens skills and brings new insight in to your knowledge or organisation
  • Provides exposure to another perspective
  • Develops your communication skills

Articles on mentoring

The Treasurer's definitive guide to mentoring
How to pick the right executive coach
Winning team
Mentoring Magic
Mentoring Matters
Set your people free
Making the best better

Mentoring profiles

Sydney Lidede, Treasury Accountant, Nairobi Securities Exchange

Describe your current role

I handle the liquidity position for the Exchange, advising on where to invest the surplus funds and making relevant recommendations. I am also involved in the setup of the upcoming derivatives markets, where I will be managing the margins for the market and managing the relationships for the clearing members. I also handle cash management plus bank relationship management.

Why did you sign up for the mentoring scheme?

I felt I had hit a snag with my career and that a job I had initially loved wasn't providing me with the opportunities I wanted. I decided to sign up to the ACT mentoring scheme as I wanted to find an experienced treasurer to guide me and to talk me through my options.

How have you found the experience?

The experience has been nothing short of amazing and I am grateful to my mentor for his help and support. Together we came up with goals and a timeline in which to achieve them. He guided me patiently and it took a lot of effort on both our parts to achieve our goals. So far the progress has been excellent as I have landed my dream job.

How did you correspond with your mentor?

Our first correspondence was via the mentoring website. After that we exchanged email addresses and continued through scheduled Skype calls. It worked well as he is in the UK and I am in Kenya. Personally I felt it was good to see him as I felt like I was talking to someone near me rather than email correspondence. I do hope one day I may be able to meet him personally and buy him a few glasses of scotch!

Any tips on how to make the relationship work?

My tip would be regular communication. Even with differing schedules and time zones we made plans to have a particular day in a week in which we could catch up even for 10 mins. That helped keep our focus and achieve our goals.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of joining the ACT Mentoring scheme?

Go for it! This is an amazing opportunity to better yourself and others. As a mentor, you will get to have a positive impact on someone’s life. As a mentee you will learn a lot and your life will definitely change.

How has it helped you in your career?

Being mentored has helped me in very practical ways. Initially, my mentor helped me to develop and focus my resume. He then helped me to clean up my LinkedIn profile to make it more appealing. When I was looking to move roles I ran my application by him. He was among the first people I told after I got an offer. I really feel his help has enabled me to grow into a better treasurer.

Brian Welch, Director, The Usercare Treasury Consultancy

Why did you become a mentor?

Over my career, I have benefited from the advice of informal mentors. However I do feel that a more formal and longer-term mentoring relationship may have been beneficial – especially from someone impartial. It was with this in mind that I put my name forward to be a mentor with the ACT.

We are often mentored informally by ‘self appointed’ mentors – and this tends to be a reactive relationship. Family friends, colleagues, or a person who has recruited you (and who has a vested interest in your success) can all pick up the mentoring baton but there is a real benefit to proactively seeking and appointing your own mentor. This is, in part, as they can look at your career over the long term, and perhaps suggest when it is the time to move on.

What skills do you need to be a mentor?

You use all the skills you develop throughout your life - these can be professional skills, or wider life and career skills. The fact that the mentor has ‘been through it already’ means that they might be able to spot mistakes easily and the mentee will be able to use this experience to come up with the best solution.

Please tell us about the mentoring relationship you have had? What have you gained/learnt?

This is my first formalised mentoring relationship experience. In a different context, I have an apprentice in the Guild of Mercers Scholars, and I have also found myself acting as a mentor for those who have worked for me, colleagues and ex-colleagues.

My experience with the ACT scheme has been to ensure that you establish what both parties want and expect from the relationship early on – and to measure progress. It is critical that both the mentor and the mentee understand the relationship.

Initially I found that the mentee I was working with had completely different expectations from me. He thought the relationship would provide a ‘quick fix’ for his problems and give him an inside track to getting a new job. However, for me the value of mentoring comes from providing a longer term perspective and therefore for the relationship to last for 2 year or more.

We agreed on the best way for me to support him through this part of his career, and decided to focus on:

  • His progress with the ACT Examinations
  • His progression in his current job and future job development
  • Providing guidance on how to promote himself with his CV, LinkedIn profile and other social media
  • To act as a confidential and independent ‘friend’ for him to discuss career plans and difficulties
  • I was interested to learn that my mentee was based in Kenya – only in that we would be unlikely to meet face to face. We did try Skype conversations, but to be honest, it didn’t work that well as there were too many distractions. Apart from occasional conversations therefore, we have worked mainly by e-mail.

    Perhaps my main contribution was to be brutally critical (he described it as candid!) about his CV and LinkedIn profile. We also discussed the recruitment market, and what recruiters are looking for.

    What has been the effect on your mentee?

    He has a new job, which really does sound exciting. I am really pleased he has attributed the success of getting this new role to the support and advice I provided – I’m really pleased to have been able to help.

    Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking of becoming a mentor?

    It has been a very enjoyable process and I hope to keep in touch with my mentee for many years to come. I think that it is a very useful process to offer to younger members.

    My advice to potential mentors is to understand what both parties want from the relationship, to be honest and candid in your dialogue and to enjoy the experience.

    Antony Barnes, Director of Corporate Finance, Experian

    What does mentoring mean to you?

    Mentoring is a partnership between two people and, for me, it is about meeting someone and helping them define the issues they are facing. Many professionals have to deal with a wide range of choices in their working environment and mentoring helps them to confront and think about the issues they are facing. As a mentor I offer feedback and comment on their ideas.

    What do you think are the benefits of mentoring?

    Mentoring provides me with new insight in to the issues facing young professionals today and in how people approach solving these. This exposure to another perspective can be useful. I also enjoy helping others to achieve their goals.

    For the mentee, having someone to talk to and discuss ideas with in a confidential and supportive manner must provide a great way to tackles issues and blockages.

    When selecting a mentor, consider a spectrum of people with diverse experience, professional and social backgrounds, and thinking. This will enable the broadest opportunity for both mentor and mentee to have a rich and rewarding relationship.

    Why did you become a mentor?

    I have been involved in mentoring schemes in previous companies and have gained valuable support from more experienced colleagues in the past. In particular, just having a sounding board has proved useful in developing my ideas and thought processes. As I have benefited from this in the past I wanted to give something back and was happy to become a mentor in Experian’s business network.

    What are the benefits of being a mentor?

    The main benefit for me is in helping guide someone else in their career.

    What skills do you need to be a mentor?

    I think the key skills are to listen, challenge, provide feedback and offer advice. Your role is to provide pragmatic and objective assistance which will genuinely help the mentee.

    Mentoring and CPD

    Mentoring counts towards my CPD. It's not until you look in to what can count towards your CPD that you realise how much you already do.

    Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking of becoming a mentor?

    Do it. The benefits to both you and the mentee are considerable and there’s nothing better than knowing you have helped someone along the way.

    Lourie Kruger, VP and Group Treasurer, Kingdom Hotel Investment

    Lourie Kruger started his career as a banker with Standard Bank in South Africa and then switched to a career in treasury in 2009. After joining the bank as a graduate, he worked his way through the ranks until he and a colleague founded Standard Bank’s African Commercial Real Estate team, which provided a full suite of corporate and investment banking products to the sub-Saharan African region.

    While a graduate he was mentored by a senior colleague who he believes helped to shape his focus and determination.

    Why did you decide to take part in a mentoring programme?

    The bank was very focussed on supporting the graduates in the graduate programme and mentoring was considered one of the key aspects in this.

    What support did your mentor give you?

    Initially he acted more as a ‘guide’ for me in trying to make sense of a very large organisation that spanned multiple continents. Over time his role morphed into something that was closer to a sounding board and ‘door-opener’. The former part was by far the most beneficial to me.

    What benefits do you think there are to being mentored?

    It really depends on who your mentor is. If this is a person that has substantially more experience than you in your industry or organisation then the obvious benefits include leveraging his or her professional experience and personal networks. A senior person in an industry other than your own is in a position to provide a different point of view to what you might have.

    What is the best advice your mentor gave you?

    “This is your career and you need to take ownership. If you want something to happen, you need to make it happen yourself.”

    What advice would you give to someone being mentored to ensure they get the best out of it?

    Know what you are trying to achieve from having a mentor and choose the person accordingly.

    Are you a mentor now and what advice would you give to mentors?

    I am, but in a more informal way than before. Mentors should not underestimate the value for them in being part of such a process. Whilst the mentee gets the benefit of learning from your experiences and network there is a lot to be said for getting a different perspective on some of your own views from an audience other than your peers.

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